Cassius Murphy is every bit of the 6-foot-1, 235 pounds he is listed in the program.
And the Carlsbad High defensive lineman has come up big for the No. 3-ranked Lancers this season.
Friday night, in a dominating 35-0 Avocado League win over La Costa Canyon, Murphy was huge.
He had three of five sacks for the Lancers with Luke Ferrelli and Jude McLellan getting the others.
“Our mindset as a defense is that we don’t want them to score,” said Murphy, who may also see time on the offensive line as Carlsbad (8-1, 5-0) prepares for the Open Division playoffs.
“We had two weeks to prepare for La Costa Canyon and we changed our defense a little.
“They didn’t know who to block.”
Friday’s win ensured Carlsbad of its fourth straight Avocado League championship. The Lancers have won 24 straight league games.
Carlsbad has won seven straight games, outscoring those opponents 237-45.
Friday made it back-to-back shutouts for the Lancers and three overall.
Ranked No. 21 in the state by MaxPreps, Carlsbad’s only loss was 35-18 in Week 2 to No. 14 Inglewood, which is 9-0.
Carlsbad held No. 10 La Costa Canyon (5-4, 3-2) to 1 yard rushing on 18 carries. LCC threw for 149 yards, but Carlsbad got interceptions from Thomas McCormick, Justin Johnson and Ben Harris.
Johnson’s came in the end zone to blunt an LCC scoring drive.
Harris, who moved up from safety to linebacker in place of the injured Thomas Weirich, also batted a pass that led to McCormick’s interception.
And Damon Ivey blocked a field goal that Logan Shaffer returned 78 yards for a score.
“We have a young team, and it’s growing up fast,” said Carlsbad coach Thadd MacNeal. “We played really well on offense, defense and special teams against a really good LCC team.
“We scored 35 in what was a nearly perfect first half.”
Top 10 Fared
No. 1 Madison 35, Scripps Ranch 7: Reggie Johnson was efficient for Madison, completing 8 of 11 passes for 239 yards and 4 TDs. Dylan McFeely caught two TD passes while Jake Jackson and Berrot Rankin each caught one. For Madison (9-0, 3-0), the win sets up a showdown for No. 1 and the Western League title next week at No. 2-ranked Lincoln. Scripps fell to 2-7, 0-3.
No. 2 Lincoln, bye.
No. 3 Carlsbad 35, La Costa Canyon 0
No. 4 Poway 42, Mt. Carmel 20: After Mt. Carmel (5-4, 1-3) scored the first TD of the game, Poway (9-0, 4-0) scored 42 points in the second quarter behind two rushing TDs by RB Conner Rath, a rushing TD and a 62-yard TD reception for RB Luke Gonzalez and a 33-yard TD catch by Nico McBride, who also returned a punt 60 yards for a TD. Mt. Carmel QB Joshua Bell was 18 for 31 for 289 yards and three TDs. Poway has outscored its opponents 307-97. Poway visits Rancho Bernardo on Friday in a league title showdown.
No. 5 Helix 42, Grossmont 17: Ryland Jessee tied a Helix record with six TD passes, equaling the mark set by Alex Smith in 2001 against Monte Vista. The Highlanders’ Quincy Herron had TD receptions of 12 and 30 yards, while Jackson Daniels hauled in TD passes of 5 and 15 yards. Brandon Arrington had a 65-yard TD on a pass reception. Helix improved to 7-2, 2-0 and will face Granite Hills for the Grossmont Hills League championship Friday. Grossmont, which lost to Helix for the 27th consecutive time, fell to 0-9, 0-2.
No. 6 Cathedral Catholic 41, St. Augustine 27: In the Holy Bowl, the section’s most heated rivalry, Cathedral’s ground game wore down a young Saints team in a Western League game. Victory Johnson and Marcus Ratcliffe had interceptions for the Dons (4-5, 1-2). Saints freshman QB Brady Palmer completed 17 of 28 passes for 253 yards and four TDs. Parker Johnson had four catches for 103 yards for Saints (3-7, 1-3).
No. 7 Granite Hills 34, Steele Canyon 0: In a Grossmont Hills game, Pablo Jackson threw a 10-yard TD pass to QB Parlan Sanders on a halfback screen, while Maxwell Turner had a 36-yard TD run for Granite Hills (7-2, 2-0). Sanders added TDs on keepers of 9 and 30 yards, while Jackson scored a TD on a 2-yard run. Easton Peterson had an interception for Granite Hills, his seventh of the season, while Davion Green also had an interception. Steele Canyon fell to 1-8, 0-2.
No. 8 Mater Dei Catholic 55, Bonita Vista 0: Mater Dei Catholic (5-4, 2-0) captured its fifth straight Metro Mesa League title and the host Crusaders made Bonita Vista (2-7, 0-2) their fifth straight shutout victim. QB Dominic Nankil was close to perfect, completing 12 of 13 for 266 yards and four TDs. D.J. Overstreet had a 28-yard TD reception, while Talon Beltran picked up a fumble caused by Anthony McMillan and raced 18 yards for a TD. Bonita Vista (2-7, 0-2) was led by Dante Herrero, who rushed for 30 yards and caught a 12-yard pass.
Mission Hills 14, No. 9 El Camino 13: Andy Devine blocked a PAT and Anthony Terrazas blocked a FG as Mission Hills (6-3, 3-2) hung on to beat El Camino (6-3, 3-2) in an Avocado League game. Mission Hills had a goal-line stand at the end of the first half, recovering an El Camino fumble. Santiago Salas scored on a 4-yard TD run for the Grizzlies and Keaton Smith had a 16-yard TD pass to Ryder Ridill with 6 minutes to play. Johnny Reyes made both his PATs. Zuriel Eatmon had a 38-yard TD run for El Camino, and the PAT was good to make it 7-7 in the third quarter. Devin Cerda-Johnson scored on a 1-yard run in the fourth quarter, but the PAT was blocked. The El Camino defense gave up just 170 yards.
Torrey Pines 28, San Marcos 14: Alex Taylor rushed eight times for 81 yards and two TDs for Torrey Pines (3-6, 2-3). Punter Max Griffiths went 76 yards when he scooped up a bad snap and scored. LB Brett Barry had 13 tackles for the Falcons, while Cade Wilken had two sacks and a TFL. Nick Defina also had two sacks. San Marcos (4-5, 1-4) got a TD on an 11-yard pass from Kreet Makihele to Noah Cummings. Cummings later returned a kickoff 91 yards for a TD.
Christian 20, La Jolla 14: Christian turned in a dominant defensive effort, led by Payton Curry’s two interceptions as the Patriots (5-4, 3-0) wrapped up the Eastern League title. Christian limited La Jolla to 143 yards and 36 plays. QB Jake Davila completed 17 of 20 passes for 187 yards, plus rushed for 42 yards and two scores. For La Jolla (5-4, 1-1), Wynn Smoole blocked a punt, plus had 1½ sacks. La Jolla had five sacks.
Mira Mesa 49, Patrick Henry 20: Makei Thompson carried 14 times for 168 yards and three TDs, plus caught a 65-yard TD pass. Tyson Line completed 13 of 18 passes for 259 yards and three scores. Chris Brown had five catches for 83 yards and a TD. Henry falls to 2-6, 0-3.
San Pasqual 14, Fallbrook 6: Safety Manny Adeiza returned an interception 88 yards for the winning points and CB Derek Reyna’s interception with 31 seconds sealed the win for San Pasqual (6-3, 3-1). The Eagles can clinch at least a share of the league crown with a win Friday over Escondido. Noah Snyder scored on a 75-yard run. Fallbrook (6-3, 3-1) scored on a 15-play drive with Jackson Christofferson going the final three yards. Fallbrook’s Chris Bausch, who has 1,260 yard rushing and 16 TDs, didn’t play.
Valley Center 24, Rancho Buena Vista 20: Valley Center (4-5, 3-1) forged a three-way tie atop the league with San Pasqual and Fallbrook. QB Colton Paxton connected with Jason Vasquez on a 30-yard scoring play to seal the win. Max Victor scored on a blocked punt. Jacob Teniente recovered a fumble with 90 seconds to play. The Jaguars are at Ramona on Friday while San Pasqual is at Escondido and Fallbrook is at Rancho Buena Vista. RB Gino Trapasso rushed 31 times for 163 yards and two TDs for RBV (5-4, 1-3).
Metro South Bay League
Hilltop 21, Olympian 7: Hilltop (6-4, 3-0) made it two straight wins heading into the Metro South Bay League championship Friday against Montgomery. Ty Washington led the way, gaining 85 yards rushing including two TDs. Jorge Garcia was 4 of 8 passing for 141 yards, three to Isaac Meza for 64 yards and a TD. Olympian (3-6, 0-2) got a big night from Javon Jordan, who caught seven passes for 144 yards.
Montgomery 20, Sweetwater 0: Montgomery (7-2, 2-0) got two rushing TDs from Isaac Cervantes and one from Ignacio Mondragon to set up a winner-take-all season finale Friday night at Hilltop for the league title. Arath Leyva gobbled up two of the Aztecs’ five fumble recoveries. Sweetwater (3-6, 0-2) suffered its fourth straight loss.
Metro Pacific League
Mar Vista 27, Castle Park 21: With the offense and defense making big plays, Mar Vista (4-5, 2-1) put itself back into the title chase as WR Erik Garcia led the way with seven catches for 120 yards and a pair of TDs. Aleks Wojcik had a big night, going 14 of 22 for 182 yards and three scores. Travon Smith paced the shutout with eight tackles, two of which went for losses. Castle Park (3-5, 2-1) had its hopes for an outright Metro Pacific title dashed, but the Trojans still can get a share of the crown with a win against Chula Vista. Jeremiah Simler scored twice for Castle Park.
Chula Vista 39, Southwest-San Diego 0: Make it five straight wins for Chula Vista (5-4, 3-0), which is one win away from its first league title since 2003. QB Izaac Baca completed 9 of 11 passes for 126 yards and a TD to Arbahl Saucedo, who had five receptions for 73 yards. Gerardo Cadillo added 84 yards on nine carries as the Spartans led 33-0 at the half and rested many of their starters. Southwest (3-7, 1-3) finished its regular season with its fourth straight loss.
Metro Mesa League
Eastlake 35, Otay Ranch 7: Eastlake (3-6, 2-0) continued its turnaround by winning its third consecutive game, setting up the Metro Mesa League championship showdown with Mater Dei Catholic on Thursday night at Eastlake. Otay Ranch (3-5, 0-2) got interceptions from Mikey Roberts and Cisco Martinez.
Escondido Charter 42, Francis Parker 21: Skylar MacMahon was 12 of 25 passing for 355 yards and three scores for Escondido Charter (7-2, 2-0). He had TD strikes of 78, 75 and 6 yards. John Scates had five catches for 139 with two scores. Scates paced the team on defense with seven tackles with three TFL and a pair of forced fumbles. Nick Patterson carried 13 times for 133 with two TDs, the second a 50-yarder in the fourth quarter to seal the win. Francis Parker (4-5, 2-1) had RB Chris Williams rush 26 times for 268 yards and three TDs, catch three passes for 49 yards and recover two fumbles.
Classical Academy 42, Mountain Empire 7: Classical Academy (7-2, 1-1) was led by Life Pollard with 13 carries for 162 yards and two TDs and Roman Menotti’s two carries for 105 yards and two TDs. Pollard also threw a TD pass to Menotti. Mountain Empire is now 2-7, 0-3.
Grossmont Valley League
Santana 10, West Hills 3: Linden Benson rushed 41 times for 195 yards and the game’s only TD on a 2-yard plunge in the third quarter to lift host Santana (4-5, 4-1) over crosstown rival West Hills (6-3, 4-1) , snapping the Wolf Pack’s league winning streak at 12 games. The Wolf Pack managed 95 yards of total offense as Santana’s Isaiah Lloyd had an interception, and teammate Skylar Trahan had a sack on the game’s final series. Tyler Haley booted a 26-yard FG for West Hills, while Santana’s Jackson Scott kicked a 25-yard FG, as the score was tied at 3 at halftime.
El Capitan 38, Monte Vista 0: Julian May had an 86-yard TD run for El Capitan (7-2, 5-0), which can win the Grossmont Valley League title outright with a win Friday at home against West Hills. Brandt Barker hit Chance LaChappa for a 64-yard bomb for a TD. Manuel Vicencio added a sack for the Vaqueros. Monte Vista is 1-9, 0-5.
Mount Miguel 48, Valhalla 14: Matthew Barton passed for 195 yards and five TDs for Mount Miguel, which finished the regular season 4-6, 2-4. Jeremiah Castillo had four TD receptions, while Chris Akridge had the other scoring catch. Antrell Burbidge rushed for a pair of TDs for the Matadors. Valhalla is 0-9, 0-5.
Del Norte 21, Westview 14: Ahead 10-7 at halftime, Del Norte (6-3, 3-2) got a FG and QB Jack Schneider’s TD toss to RB Chris Guzman for a 21-7 lead with eight minutes left. In the final minute, Ty Olsen’s interception at the Del Norte 24 sealed the win against Westview (1-8, 1-3).
Rancho Bernardo 21, Vista 12: LB-RB Eli Edwards returned an interception 79 yards for a TD, and Toryn Sellars ran the second-half kickoff 95 yards for a TD as Rancho Bernardo (5-4, 4-0) set up Friday’s league title showdown at home against undefeated Poway. Edwards rushed for 70 yards and a TD on 10 carries against Vista (0-9, 0-5). Eli Ogles also had an interception for the Broncos.
University City 38, Morse 14: University City (7-2, 4-0) clinched the City League title with a road win. LaDainian Lawrence rushed for more than 100 yards and scored a TD. Cameron Landeros returned an interception 35 yards for a TD. Morse fell to 5-4, 1-2.
Point Loma 53, Mission Bay 14: Backup QB Maxim Newbegin scored on a 75-yard run to spark Point Loma (7-2, 2-1). Brady Allen and Noah Turbeville each scored two rushing TDs for the Pointers. Mission Bay (6-3, 1-2) led at one point 14-7.
Crawford 58, Hoover 12: Crawford’s offense, which has scored 34 or more points five times, led the Colts to a win that clinched the Central title. Crawford (8-1, 3-0) is seeded No. 1 in Division V. Hoover fell to 4-5, 1-2.
Coronado 36, Kearny 26: Coronado took to the ground, pounding out 266 yards rushing and three TDs. Steven Davis led the attack with 82 yards on 10 carries and two scores. Two others rushed for 53 yards for the Islanders (6-3, 3-1). Elias Valdivia anchored the defense with 10 tackles, including two sacks. Graham Bower recorded 11 tackles. For Kearny (4-5, 1-2), Isaiah Sutton passed for 243 yards and one score, plus rushed for 105 yards and three TDs.
Santa Fe Christian 28, La Jolla Country Day 14: Trailing 14-0 in the first quarter, Santa Fe Christian (8-1, 2-0) scored 28 unanswered points. Jeremy Love scored on runs of 8 and 7 yards for the Eagles. PJ Rogers passed 17 yards to Connor Sawyer for a score and Andrew Hidy passed 13 yards to Evan Lagenbach for a TD. LJCD falls to 6-3, 1-1.
Bishop’s 73, Orange Glen 20: Thanks to four defensive TDs, Bishop’s (7-2, 2-0) routed Orange Glen. Jaden Moore returned an interception and a punt for TDs, while Xavier Rodriguez and Hewitt Watkins both returned interceptions for scores against Orange Glen (0-9, 0-3).
Army-Navy 51, O’Farrell Charter 0: The starters played only the first quarter as Army-Navy improved to 8-1, 2-0. QB Carlos Ramirez completed all eight of his passes for 143 yards and two TDs. Nehemiah Brunson Jr. had two carries for 45 yards and a TD, and returned a punt 45 yards for a score. Utu Fatiaki had two carries for 44 yards and a TD. Jacob Honeycutt and Landon Schrom had TD catches. O’Farrell falls to 0-9, 0-2.
Ramona 22, Oceanside 14: Kyle Patenaude, who plays RB, WR, FS, punts and kicks for Ramona (5-4) led the Bulldogs with 112 rushing yards on 12 carries. Adrian Enriquez had 22 carries for 81 yards. The Ramona defense forced five turnovers — four interceptions. Jamil Kassab had one of the interceptions, giving him seven for the season. Do-everything Colin Lester and Kyle Willford combined for a force fumble and recovery. Oceanside is 0-9.
Maranatha Christian 49, Calipatria 27: Tyler Tennant passed for 480 yards and six TDs, and Jack Amodeo and Lukas Dawson accounted for 270 of the reception yards for Maranatha Christian (4-5). Calipatria is 0-8.
Palo Verde Valley 48, Southwest-El Centro 0
Imperial Valley League
Brawley 42, Calexico 8
Central Union 34, Imperial 17 (OT)
Vincent Memorial at Holtville, late Saturday
St. Joseph Academy 28, San Diego Jewish Academy 22
Victory Christian Academy 35, Ocean View Christian 0
Coastal Academy 30, Calvin Christian 6
Rock Academy 63, Horizon Prep 35
Borrego Springs 44, West Shores 13
San Pasqual Academy 76, Warner 0
Freelance writers Don Norcross, Terry Monahan, Steve Brand, Ramon Scott, Adam Paul and Rick Hoff contributed to this report.